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Match of the Round
Edgeworth FC v Lambton Jaffas
Jack McLaughlan Oval, Sunday 2.30pm
Edgeworth will look to maintain their march up the table when they host leaders Lambton at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday.
The Eagles have won five of their last six matches to remain fourth, with the only blemish coming in a 2-1 defeat to fellow heavyweights Broadmeadow Magic.
The reigning premiers and champions have overcome a slow start under new coach Michael Bridges, evidenced by their 4-2 victory over high-flying Maitland last time out.
Lambton have dealt with the loss of coach James Pascoe to sit top of the table after 10 rounds, one point clear of Broadmeadow.
The Jaffas were one of five NPL NNSW clubs who did not enjoy last weekend off as they were eliminated from the FFA Cup sixth preliminary round by Newcastle Olympic on Saturday night.
But Lambton are on a strong run of form in the league having won their last four matches, including their 4-1 hammering of Weston last time out.
The Jaffas will also be out to avenge their round two defeat to Edgeworth as they fell 2-0 to goals from Josh Rose and Jeremy Brockie at Arthur Edden Oval.
Maitland FC v Lake Macquarie City
Cooks Square Park, Friday 18 June
Maitland will be keen to bounce back when they host Lake Macquarie City on Friday night.
The Magpies welcome Lakes to Cooks Square Park having had a week off to brood over their defeat to Edgeworth last time out. Maitland led 2-0 after 19 minutes against the reigning premiers and champions only to throw away their two-goal lead to go down 4-2.
Maitland have taken just one point from their last three games to slip from the top of the table to third, five points behind leaders Lambton.
Lakes have also had a disappointing fortnight having been knocked out of the FFA Cup on Saturday.
City played out a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra-time against Coastal Premier League leaders Coffs City United, only to be eliminated from the sixth preliminary round on penalties.
Lakes have endured a patchy run of form of late but remain sixth, five points outside the top five. Josh Rufo’s side will be keen to bounce back from their flat 4-1 defeat to Broadmeadow last time out.
Maitland downed Lakes 3-2 in an exciting contest when the sides met in round two thanks to James Thompson’s double.
Weston Workers FC v Valentine FC
Rockwell Automaton Park, Saturday 5pm
Weston veteran Nathan Morris will play his 300th first grade game for the club when the Bears host struggling Valentine on Saturday night.
In a career that started in the under-6s for the Kurri Kurri Roosters, the midfielder or defender has seen and done just about everything there is to do in northern NSW football.
He joined Weston in 2003 as a 16-year-old under his father, Trevor. While he has gone on to lose three grand finals with the Bears, he won one in his only senior season away from Weston in 2017 under James Pascoe at Lambton.
Morris though did taste premiership glory in 2004 and 2010 with Weston, the 2010 triumph particularly satisfying thanks to a final day victory over Edgeworth at Bear Park on Old Boys’ Day.
The Bears though are in dire need of a result having not won any of their last five games, including a deflating 4-1 defeat to Lambton last time out.
Weston have slipped to eighth thanks to that disappointing run and need a victory over winless Valentine to turn their campaign around.
There was a glimmer of hope for Leo Bertos’ side last weekend as they advanced to the seventh preliminary round of the FFA Cup thanks to a 1-0 win over HIT106.9 Northern League One club Belmont Swansea United on Saturday.
Weston will play Broadmeadow for a place in the national round of 32.
Valentine will look to spoil Weston’s party on Saturday night as they continue to hunt for their first win of the season.
Adam Hughes’ side need a win desperately if they are a chance of avoiding a last-placed finish.
Valentine went down 1-0 to Weston when the sides met in round two, with a Harrison Lane own goal 13 minutes from full-time separating the sides.
Newcastle Olympic v Broadmeadow Magic
Darling Street Oval, Sunday 2.30pm
Newcastle Olympic will look to continue their momentum when they host bitter rivals Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday.
Olympic welcome Magic to Darling Street with both sides having advanced in their FFA Cup sixth preliminary round matches on Saturday.
Olympic went one step better on Monday, progressing through to the national round of 32 thanks to a 1-0 win over Coffs City United in their seventh preliminary round clash.
Magic will host Weston to earn a place in the national round next week.
Damian Zane’s side will be keen to keep to the pressure on Lambton at the top of the table, with Broadmeadow one point behind the Jaffas having gone unbeaten in their last three matches.
Olympic will be keen to bounce back from their upset 2-0 defeat to Adamstown Rosebud last time out, a result that dinted their own premiership charge.
Broadmeadow downed Olympic 2-1 when they sides met at Magic Park in round two.
Charlestown Azzurri v Adamstown Rosebud
Lisle Carr Oval, Sunday 2.30pm
Charlestown will look to keep up their hunt for a top five place when they host Adamstown Rosebud on Sunday.
Azzurri are seventh on 11 points but have a match in hand against fifth-placed Olympic. A win over Adamstown at Lisle Carr Oval could have them right in the finals race.
Charlestown were convincing 3-0 winners over Valentine last time out, a result Graham Law’s side will look to build on.
Adamstown will also be looking to build on their impressive 2-0 victory over Newcastle Olympic in round 10.
Rosebud are ninth, fourth points clear of bottom side Valentine.
Charlestown won the round two fixture between the sides 2-0 thanks to goals from Riley Smith and Rene Ferguson.